Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Homemade Chocolate and Vanilla Christmas

One of the things I had on our {unorganized} fall to do list was making Christmas gifts.  I pinned a bunch of things -and in my idealistic mind came up with the concept of making things ahead. You know, so Christmas would be stress free, and I could have holly-jolly fun making meaningful memories instead of wondering who I was forgetting. (Note to self and mainbain if you're reading: still need gift for god-daughter, K.)

Yeah. That was September.  

In October (still full of idealism), I remembered to buy bourbon and we made homemade vanilla.  There are recipes all over the internet - but it's really quite simple.   I split open 10 Vanilla Beans and shoved them into 1 big bottle of bourbon (I used cheap stuff).  Shake the bottle a few times over 2 months and a magically delicious gift is made.  I had a few moments of consternation when the boys wanted multiple sniffs of the bourbon, but otherwise that particular project was a snap.  Now we I just need to label and bottle it.   

I realized shortly after December dawned,  I wouldn't be making wine cork coasters, yarn trees, stone alphabet magnets or my own snow globes.  Nightly Advent reading remained on the list, but I would be double clicking my way through Christmas shopping.  And running from store to store looking for green apple tic tacs.  (Still no luck on those...)

However- such a sweet little word.  However.

Mainbain surprised me with an immaculately cleaned house, and I felt ambitious on Sunday afternoon.  We had enough flour, sugar and yeast to make the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon rolls.  I'm not going to recreate her rockin' tutorial, but I will tell you about a few tweaks.

  • First of all, her recipe calls for vegetable oil.  Who knows what that stuff does to your insides?  I used butter.  Nothing wrong with a little lot of animal fat.  

  • Her recipe is not only easy it's very forgiving.  I forgot to add sugar to the butter/milk mixture until I'd incorporated all the flour.  I used all my upper body strength to stir the sugar in after the fact and it rose and rolled just fine. I wouldn't call this a tweak, just a fact.

  • Cocoa powder can be substituted for the cinnamon in the recipe (hello Chocolate rolls)- or you can just add it to the cinnamon for a Mexican cinnamon roll.  Just need a bit of extra butter if you add it to the cinnamon. 

  • I thought I'd try a slightly different frosting: I substituted 1/4 c of my homemade bourbon vanilla for the imitation (blech!) maple flavoring, kept the melted butter, eliminated the coffee and added extra milk.  Tasted ideal, IMHO.

Pleasantly surprised by the ideal holly-jolly fun limabain, mexicanjumpingbain and I all had making these1

Hope Christmas is full of your ideals becoming reality - and some Chocolate roll yumminess! 

linked to
Rachel, Jen,

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Those sound delicious! I've never heard of veg. oil in cinnamon rolls.. interesting.

Love the chocolate cinnamon version and mmmmmmm bourbon vanilla!


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